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History The Johnny Eck "Special"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Ryan
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    Ryan
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    Staff Member

  2. JeffreyJames
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    JeffreyJames Member

    The grillle Shell on the Johnny Eck Special looks like the one on Dan Webbs Submarine recreation or a Miller.

    Unfortunate what came of Johnny and his brother. I am sure the days in the Circus were some of his happiest.
  3. Rand Man
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    Rand Man Member

    I think he may have been one of the cast in the cult classic "Freaks". "One of us. One of us. One of us."
  4. Tman
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    Tman Member

    Interesting story.....humans can suck at times. Looks like he made the rest of us look like freaks.
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  5. TOE
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    TOE Member

    He was in "Freaks".

    His car was at last year's Jalopyrama:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  6. Pretty amazing guy. Cool to hear he was a gear head...

    [​IMG]
  7. Engine Pro 5X
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    Engine Pro 5X Member

    Built and Driven By Johnny !! Now that's cool !! >>>>.
  8. Streetwerkz
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    Streetwerkz Member

    Amazing story!!
    Sad to hear how selfish people can suck the life out of someone who overcame such odds
  9. Labold
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    Labold Member

    Ryan, you never cease to amaze me with the interesting stories you pull out of your hat.
    Keep it up bro!
  10. stude_trucks
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    stude_trucks Member

    Man, what a cool but ultimately very sad story. I grew up in MD, but across the bay on the easternshore. So, wasn't that intimate with Baltimore. Nice that such a cool guy was from my home state, but terrible to hear what happen to him in the end. Very sad. Glad his car is still around. Thanks for yet another wacky and fascinating story Ryan.

    edit: check out the link to his museum if you didn't catch that:
    http://www.johnnyeckmuseum.com/
    some of his artwork is, hmm, a little interesting to say the least.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  11. Labold
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    Labold Member

    I like the comment "moral of the story: Baltimore still sucks".

    Very sad ending...
  12. Jeem
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    Jeem Alliance Vendor

    Just "wow".


    That would be the last picture of the circus camp dog, Esmeralda, tragic.
  13. jalopy gal
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    jalopy gal Member

    That is a sad yet good story. Never heard of the guy really. Seen Freaks but didn't know that was him.
    At least he was comfortable in the earlier part of his life. Makes me wonder how ppl would treat him now if he were still around and still young.
    Good story, Ryan. Thanks for posting.

    And yea, some of those pics and things he made are pretty weird. But cool never-the-less.
  14. zorch
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    zorch Member

    As freaks go, Eck was a major player, and with a much longer life span than many others. Also clearly a stronger character than, for example, the Lobster Boy. And his car is just as cool as it could be. It also warrants a nod to Maryland for licensing his little machine for street use. many places he would not have been able to do that.

    I am gobsmacked by the whole thing. The car, and his sad ending.
  15. duste01
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    duste01 Member

    It is equally sad we didnt get a chance to shake his and his brothers hand. Even more interestingly to me is the love, bond, and devotion of his Brother. Makes you appreciate what you have...or should.
  16. Saw the car, like Toe mentioned, at last years Jalopyrama. Great story about a truly inspirational character. Never let anything stand in the way of his dreams. Shame about the pukes that broke in and beat up on a couple of elderly guys, one of whom was terribly handicapped. You gotta believe that there are tiny little corners of hell waiting for scumbags like that. Wonder if they were ever apprehended and punished.....Don.
  17. daddio211
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    Sad ending, but a truly inspirational story. Thanks for sharing Ryan!
  18. williebill
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    williebill Member

    Thanks for posting...just spent 30 minutes reading about the movie "Freaks"...
    Tried once to get a woman I was dating to watch it on TCM...she lasted about 3 minutes
  19. El Caballo
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    El Caballo Member

    Those clowns are kinda disturbing, henchman clowns.
  20. autobilly
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    autobilly Member

    "...and if any of you rely on some lame excuse why your project sits unfinished in the garage, consider it nullified!"
  21. 31fordV860
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    31fordV860 Member

    Yes ...they are creepy sort of like "Chucko" the clown was....
  22. I've always been scared of clowns, and these guys really give me the "creeps".:eek:
  23. GaryC.
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    clowns... remain... scary.
  24. autobilly
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    autobilly Member

    Fit looking Clowns with small feet. They could easily run you down and catch you!
  25. rixrex
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    rixrex Member

    What kind of engine is in that little car? did he ever race it on a track?
  26. Lucky667
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    Great story. No more excuses,..... Ryan, thank you for posting.

    Lucky667
  27. disturber
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    disturber Member

    When I clicked on the thread, I thought I was going to read about some obscure racer who happened to have the same name! I've always loved Johnny Eck but never knew about his car. He was also known for woodcarving and painting. He did a lot of screen painting, which was a regional kind of folk art. I met a fellow sideshow enthusiast who used Johnny Eck's image and sent him fake royalties just to help him out, having become friends of sorts some time along the way. Those pics made my day, and my day needed to be made.
  28. frankenstein1948
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    frankenstein1948 Member

    Very cool and inspirational story!
  29. The37Kid
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    The37Kid Member

    The race car was a kit or finished product back in the day, I have a book on it somewere. The roadster in the photos is a circa 1915 Saxon, bit smaller than a Model T Ford. Nice story but a very sad ending.
  30. choppintops
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    choppintops BANNED

    They say fate never gives us more then we can handle. Makes him stronger then most of the population.

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